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compressed and brilliant, replete with life and vigour :

so that if he is second to any it is from defect of subject, not from natural inferiority of genius.

He adds that • Aristarchus was of opinion that of all the writers of Iambic verse Archilochus alone carried it to perfection, Athenæus has preserved a little epigram of his no otherwise worth recording than as it is the only relick of his muse, except one distich in long and short verse, purporting that he was devoted to Mars and the Muses : the epigram may be translated as follows :

Glutton, we ask thee not to be our guest,
It is thy belly bids thee to our feast.

ARCHIL.

Archilochus fell in battle by the hand of Calondas, who immolated his own son to the mancs of the poet to atone the vengeance of Apollo: he was a man of great private virtue and distinguished courage, but a severe unsparing satirist.

Tisias, commonly called Stesichorus from his invention of the chorus, which he sung to the accompaniment of his harp, was contemporary with Sojon, and born at Himera in the island of Sicily; as a lyric poet he was unequalled by any of the Greeks but Pindar; his subjects were all of the epic cast, and he oftentimes rose to a sublimity, that rivalled Homer, upon whose model he formed bimself: this he would have done throughout, according to the opinion of Quintilian, if his genius had not led him into a redundancy, but his characters are drawn with great dignity and preserved justly. He did not visit Greece till he was far advanced in age,and died in Olymp. lvi. in the city of Catana, in bis native island of Sicily, where he was buried at the public cost with distinguished ceremony and mag

VOL XL

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nificence. A tomb was erected to his memory near one of the city gates, which was thenceforward called the gate of Stesichorus ; this tomb was composed of eight columns, had eight steps and eight angles after the cabalistical numbers of Pythagoras, whose mysterious philosophy was then in general vogue; the cubíc number of cight was emblematic of strength, solidity, and magnificence, and from this tomb of Stesichorus arose the Greek proverb Tárla Oxió, by which was meant any thing perfect and complete. Phalaris of Agrigentum erected a temple to his name, and decreed him divine ho. nours; all the cities in Sicily conspired in lamenting the death of their favourite poet, and vied with each other in the trophies they dedicated to his memory.

Epimenides of Crete, the epic poet, was contemporary with Solon, and there is a letter in the life of that great man inserted hy the sophists which is feigned to have been written by Solon in his exile to Epimenides : this poet, as well as his contemporary Aristæas, is said to have had the faculty of stopping the functions of life and recalling them at pleasure: Aristöas wrote a poem entitled Arimaspea, containing the history of the northern Arimaspeans, a people of Scythia, whom he de. scribes as the fiercest of all human beings, and pretends that they have only one eye; he also composed an heroic poem on the genealogy of the deities : Strabo says, if ever there was a quack in the world, this Aristæas was one. Simonides the poet lived in the court of Hipparchus, and was much caressed by that elegant prince; he was a pleasing courtly writer, and excelled in the pathetic. Al. cæus was poet, musician, and warrior; Quintilian gives him great praise for the boldness of his satirc

against tyrants, and occasionally for the moral tendency of his writings, but admits that sometimes his muse is loose and wanton : it appears from some fragments preserved by Athenæus, that he wrote several poems or sonnets in praise of drinking; there is also a fragment in the martial style, describing the variety of armour, with which his house was adorned. Callimachus, Theocritus, Anacreon and Sappho, are to a certain degree known to us by their remains: Every branch of poetry, but the drama, was at this æra at its greatest perfection.

NUMBER CXXV.

There is a considerable fragment in Athenæus of a love-poem written by Hermesianax of Colophon to his mistress Leontium ; the poet recommends his passion by telling her how love has triumphed over all the great geniuses in their turns, and begins with the instances of Orpheus and Musæus, and brings them down to Sophocles, Euripides, Pytha. goras, and Socrates. This Hermesianax must have been a contemporary of Epicurus, forasmuch as Leontium was the mistress of that philosopher as well as of his disciple Metrodorus : it is plain therefore that the learned Gerard John Vossius did not advert to this circumstance, when he puts Hermesianax amongst the poets of a doubtful age. Leon. tium was an Athenian courtezan, no less cele. brated for science than beauty, for she engaged in a philosophical controversy with Theophratus, of

which Cicero takes notice [lib. 1. de Nat. Deor.] Pliny also records an anecdote of her being painted by Theodorus sitting in a studious attitude.

This fragment may not improperly be called the amours of the Greek poets, and as it relates to many of whom we have been speaking, and is withal a very curious specimen of an author very little known even by name, I have inserted the following translation in the hope that it will not be unacceptable to my readers.

Οιών μεν φίλος γός ανήγαγεν ολάγροιο, ,
Αίγριόπης θρήσσαν δειλάμενος κιθάρη --
&c.

Athen. lib. xiv.

Such was the nymph, whom Orpheus led,
From the dark mansions of the dead,
Where Charon with his lazy boat
Ferries o'er Lethe's sedgy moat ;
Th’undaunted minstrel smites the strings,
His strain thro’ hell's vast concave rings :
Cocytus hears the plaintive theme,
And refluent turns his pitying stream ;
Three-headed Cerberus, by fate
Posted at Pluto's iron gate,
Low-crouching rolls his haggard eyes
Ecstatic, and foregoes his prize.
With ears erect at hell's wide doors
Lies listening as the songster soars ;
Thus music charm'd the realms beneath,
And beauty triumph'd over death.

The bard, whom night's pale regent bore,
In secret on the Athenian shore,
Musæus, felt the sacred flame,
And burnt for the fair Theban damo
Antiope, whom mighty Love
Made pregnant by imperial Jove ;
The poet plied his amorous strain,
Press'd the fond fair, nor press'd in vain,

For Ceres, who the veil undrew,
That screen'd her mysteries from his view,
Propitious this kind truth reveald,
That woman close besieg'd will yield.

Old Hesiod too his native shade Made vocal to th' Ascrean maid, The bard his heav'n-directed lore Forsook, and hymn’d the gods no more : Soft love-sick ditties now he sung, Love touch'd his harp, love tun'd his tongue, Silent his Heliconian lyre, And love's put out religion's fire.

Homer, of all past bards the prime, And wonder of all future time, Whom Jove with wit sublimely blest, And touch'd with purest fire his breast, From gods and heroes turu'd away To warble the domestic lay, And wand'ring to the desart isle, On whose parch'd sands no seasons smile, In distant Ithaca was seen Chaunting the suit-repelling Queen.

Mimnermus tun’d his am'rous lay,
When time had turu'd his temples grey;
Love revell'd in his aged veins,
Soft was his lyre, and sweet his strains ;
Frequenter of the wanton feast,
Nanno his theme, and youth his guest.

Antimachus with tender art
Pour'd forth the sorrows of his heart;
In her Dardanian grave he laid
Chryseis his beloved maid;
And thence returning sad beside
Pactolus' melancholy tide,
To Colophon the minstrel came,
Still sighing forth the mournful name,
Till lenient time his grief appeas'd,
And tears by long indulgence ceas'd.

Alcæus strung his sounding lyre,
And smote it with a hand of fire,

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